About the Lab

The Humanities Action Lab (HAL) is a coalition of universities, issue organizations, and
public spaces in 20 cities, led by The New School, that collaborate to produce community-curated public humanities projects on urgent social issues. Students and stakeholders in each city develop local chapters of national traveling exhibits, web projects, public programs, and other platforms for civic engagement. Projects travel nationally and internationally to museums, public libraries, cultural centers, and other spaces in each of the communities that helped create them.  HAL aims to:

  • Foster new public dialogue on contested, deadlocked social issues, through public humanities projects that explore the diverse local histories and current realities of shared global concerns.
  • Open space for experimentation and innovation in how design and the humanities can help confront urgent social problems.
  • Combine and connect the diverse local perspectives of communities around the world, to create widely applicable and flexible models.
  • Create new public humanities prototypes that take on difficult issues and experiment with untested formats.



Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 11.46.19 AM